Thursday, 13 August 2009

Endings



The ending of summer for me is always signalled by the Mountain Ash (Rowan) berries ripening. We have a beautiful tree we got free from the Borough Council as a "whip" many years ago. But I have to be quick to photograph the berries before the blackbirds and other birds strip it clean!




The big contoneaster is next to ripen, but that doesn't get eaten until a bit later - apparently the berries have to get a bit riper for the birds' tastes!




The sloes are beginning to get ripe now. We saw big bushes of them on a walk at the weekend. I have never made sloe gin, though I am assured it is delicious - it involves a lot of pricking, shaking and whatever - seems like a lot of hard work to me! But I do remember picking loads of sloes when my daughter wanted to make dye with them. It was quite an undertaking, picking, cooking, straining and then dyeing the wool. But it came out a beautiful colour - I craved a sweater in that deep purplish wool!

I like autumn - maybe because I was born then. But I also regret the end of summer. The end of any season has a lot of sadness about it. Wistfulness because of what I failed to do, and there is no more time, sadness for the dying gardens which have given so much pleasure. I rather dread the cold and damp that our winters seem to produce. Summer is so short, winter so long and drawn out.

But we can never go back, so I will enjoy whatever summer's ending brings, look forward to autum, and hope for sparkling winter days!

14 comments:

Gabriella said...

Good for you! :)
I have also leant to look forward ...

Beautiful blog!

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Lovely post Gilly. I love to see the rowan with all its berries too and find it amusing to see how the birds descend upon it and strip it of the fruit. I love autumn for the colours but I don't think I have a favourite season, each one has its special part for me. A

Sue said...

No way is it autumn yet! I can't allow it. Autumn starts on 1st September - I'm most particular about this. It ends on Nov 30th when we have winter until the end of February, then spring until mid-way through May. And that's that. You may call what we are currently having 'late summer' if you wish! (Or, you could just call it a total washout...)

;-)
x

Kathy said...

I dread the end of this summer, a bit. Usually, I'm ready for fall -- for the nippy weather and the leaves changing colors. This year, however, I'd prefer to hang on a bit to the warmth, to the flowers...

sojourner said...

lovely red berries - so glad you beat the birds with the snapshots - i can't wait for our hot dry summer to end!

kenju said...

A good attitude, that, Gilly!! I hate to see the end of summer and hot weather. I greatly prefer it to cold.

theMuddledMarketPlace said...

strange that the jumper was glorious purple
....and the sloe gin is delicate pink!

Awareness said...

I've been paying attention to the mountain ash here too! Ours aren't as red ripe yet.

As for the end of summer, it feels like it just started around here finally. So much rain! This weekend we're having a heat wave and I'm going to enjoy every sweaty minute of it.

Having said that? Autumn is my favourite season.....my birthday is coming up too. :)

Diane said...

Its not Autumn until the 1st of September - in my book!! However, the signs are a bit early this year I have to admit. Autumn is my fave season too - because its my birthday (September) I suppose, but I also think it is the season that never lets you down. However - still plenty of summer left yrt!! (and also Sloe Gin is soooooooooooooooooooooo worth the effort.) xxxx PS Just read Sues's definition of Autumn and her timings are spot on.

Maria said...

I don't think of summer's end being just around the corner. Our September is still very summer like. This October, I will be in Washington D.C. so I will have the opportunity to see fall at its best.

Tina ♥ said...

Great outlook to have Gilly...it's so much better than lamenting the past. Each season has it's positives, but I do know what you mean about the long winters, here in the UK! At least blogland is always sunny! :)

g said...

WAshington Park Arboretum in Seattle has a wonderful collection of rowans, even some of the chinese ones. When I lived there I had a sorbus hupehensis in my yard, it had lovely cream-colored berries. But the birds ate them, too.

I noticed on my morning drive the last couple of weeks a California elderberry full of fruit, and I kept telling myself I'd go pick them and see what I could do with them. This sAturday, when I finally got around to it, they were all gone - either birds or somebody quicker than me!

Angela said...

Oh Gilly, what a lovely, positive post.
While the earth remains, summer and winter, seedtime and harvest, shall not cease!!
Blessings x

Rainbow dreams said...

Summer seems to have only just begun here.. it may be shortlived though! We made sloe brandy a few years back which was delicious and not too bad workwise, but using them as a dye sounds a wonderful idea...what else was needed, I fancy trying it with something :)